The best smoothie makers for blending drinks and more
Individual blitz-and-go bullet blenders for making juices and smoothies are a huge hit in the health world. Read our round-up to find our best buys.
Smoothie recipes are popular on BBC Good Food and for good reason – they’re quick, they’re healthy and they’re cheap to make at home.
Making a smoothie is also a great way of using up any fruit and veg you have lying around at the end of the week – you might discover some delicious new blends that way.
Smoothies have been around for at least a century, when electric blenders were developed in the United States. Combining fruit, veg and sometimes ice with juice, yogurt or water, these tasty drinks are an effective way to top up on health-enriching nutrients.
Smoothie-makers, the blending machines used to make smoothies, have diversified in recent times. From bullet-style smoothie-makers designed to blitz ingredients for one or two smoothies, to larger, more classic smoothie-makers with blender-style jugs, there’s an appliance out there to suit every household.
For more unbiased expert buyer’s guides, visit our review section to find 600+ round-ups, including the best food processors, best blenders and best soup makers.
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- Best smoothie makers at a glance
- Best smoothie makers 2023
- What to look for in a smoothie maker
- How we tested smoothie makers
Best smoothie makers at a glance
- Best mid-priced smoothie maker: Ninja Foodi Power Nutri Blender 2-in-1 with Smart Torque & Auto-iQ, £99.99
- Best smoothie maker for students: Sensio Home Personal Blender smoothie maker, £29.99
- Best priced smoothie maker: Nutribullet Magic Bullet Deluxe, £49.99
- Best smoothie maker for a large family: Zwilling Enfinigy table blender, £199
- Best for finished results: Bosch VitaMaxx vacuum blender, £139
- Best personal blender for extras: Salter Nutripro blender, £64.99
- Best smoothie maker for small kitchens: MOI SLIM personal blender, £49.95
- Best dual-purpose smoothie maker: Sage The 3X Bluicer Pro, £299.95
- Best affordable smoothie maker: Breville Blend Active blender, £39.48
- Best value smoothie maker for extras: VonShef UltraBlend smoothie-maker, £54.99
Best smoothie makers 2023
NinjaFoodi Power Nutri Blender 2-in-1 with Smart Torque & Auto-iQ
Best overall smoothie maker
- Extremely effective and easy to use. Excellent value
- The noise!
A very powerful engine, pre-set functions, a medium footprint and a reasonable price-tag – there’s a lot to love about the Ninja. We liked the many thoughtful touches, from the start-up guide on the lid to the recyclable packaging. There’s also a genuinely helpful instruction booklet, a more detailed quick-start guide and a recipe book. You get two cups with this – one with a spout lid and a bowl with a storage lid.
This blender gave the best results of all these we tried, blending pretty much everything to a pulp in about 30 seconds.
It is very noisy though – you may well jump out of your skin the first time you use it!
Sensio Home Personal Blender Smoothie Maker
Available from OnBuy (£59.09)
Best smoothie maker for students
- Easy to use
- Great price
- Versatile – there’s even a separate grinding mill for coffee
- Too much packaging
- No hands-free operation.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-use-out-of-the-box smoothie maker that won’t break the bank, this is one for you. We thought it would make an ideal gift for a student if you’re determined to ensure they get their vitamin C fix. It has a small footprint, a powerful motor, good extra features and lots of bits and pieces. Instructions are decent – we gave them a thorough read for the purposes of this test, though you could almost certainly manage without them as the blender is pretty intuitive to use. As ever, we’d have loved some recipes. The main blade, as well as the lids and bottles/jars can go in the dishwasher and you can self-clean it by adding water and detergent and then whizzing it all up.
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This was a great little machine for our fibrous smoothie, blitzing through it in seconds. It found the yogurt smoothie a bit trickier and struggled with the larger strawberries – you’d ideally need to use smaller ingredients in here.
Nutribullet Magic Bullet Deluxe
Best mid-priced smoothie maker
- Very effective
- Several receptacles
- Most parts can go in the dishwasher
- Slightly awkward to use at first
- Too much packaging
This blender won’t take up much space on your worktop – it’s smaller than a kettle – which means that you can leave it out if you plan to use it frequently. It also won’t take up much cupboard space if you want to keep it out of sight. The Magic Bullet comes with all sorts of bits and pieces to make life easier. As well as the main cup, there’s a smaller one and a smoothie mug with a handle, complete with lids, so you can make and store everything without pouring it into a different container. Anything that saves on the washing up gets the thumbs up from us.
We found it took a bit of time to get used to it, as you need to line the cup tabs up with the blender, but once you get it, it’s pretty straightforward. It’s quick, powerful and versatile, and easy to clean as the different parts (apart from the motor base, obviously) go in the dishwasher.
Zwilling Enfinigy table blender
- Available from Zwilling (£199)
Best smoothie maker for a large family
- Large capacity
- Very effective
- Very noisy
A very powerful machine, this has plenty of functions to justify its price tag.
It comes with quite a lot of single use packaging. It isn’t as intuitive as some of the others we tested – you do need to read the instruction booklet. At first glance, you wonder where all the functions are as there simply seems to be a dial but all is revealed once it is properly set up and plugged in, as the functions light up. The overall effect is that it is very neat and streamlined.
The blender is family sized, with a capacity of 1.4 litres. It is very effective, working through our fibrous smoothie ingredients in half a minute. There is a scarily effective ice crusher function - it took 18 seconds to reduce our ice cubes to rubble.
In terms of safety, this doesn’t have a separate blade like most of the others – the blade is actually part of the jug. As there is a self-cleaning function, you don’t need to put your hand in to wash it. We used this and then just rinsed out the soap residue. The one downside is it is very noisy – you won’t be popular if you use this first thing in the morning when the rest of the family is asleep.
Available from Zwilling (£199)
Bosch VitaMaxx vacuum blender
Best smoothie-maker for finished results
This is one of the best smoothie-makers on the market, with excellent blending power and high-quality components. It has a deoxygenisation function – a vacuum which removes oxygen to give the most vibrant finished smoothie – plus a range of useful accessories like storage bowls. We found it blended even pesky small ingredients like raspberry seeds, a rarity in the smoothie blender world. You will need a decent amount of space to store it though, plus it's not cheap. Read our full review of the Bosch VitaMaxx blender.
Breville Blend Active blender
Best affordable smoothie maker
This affordable smoothie-maker is one of the most approachable and user-friendly we've come across. We particularly liked the fact the motor was operated by a button rather than automatically starting when the cup is locked in place. The four cup accessories are useful and good-quality, although you will need the space to store them. Read our full review of the Breville Blend Active blender.
MOI SLIM personal blender
- Available from Create (£49.95)
Best smoothie-maker for small kitchens
For simplicity and style, this IKOHS really impressed. It has a tiny footprint (10cm) making it ideal for smaller worktops. It couldn't be easier to use thanks to its pleasingly minimalist design, plus it's an affordable buy. It's worth noting that the cup capacity is limited – at 400ml this may even be too small for people who like to drink large smoothies. Read our full review of the IKOHS MOI SLIM blender.
Salter Nutripro blender
Best smoothie-maker for blending power
A powerhouse of an appliance with lots of practical elements, the Nutripro whizzed up some of the best smoothie results on test. The silky finish is achieved thanks to the 1200W motor, which is as powerful as it sounds (although it does make a fair bit of noise as a result). We particularly rate the robust storage cups and the smooth body of the machine which is easy to wipe clean. You'll need plenty of space to store it all, though. Read our full review of the Salter Nutripro blender.
Sage 3X Bluicer Pro
Best dual-purpose smoothie-maker
- Top quality components
- Versatile function options
Star rating: 4.5/5
Build quality and finished results aside, the genius thing about the Bluicer is that is makes both juices and smoothies (and is in fact included in our review of the best juicers). This dual functionality means the resulting smoothies can have a juiced element, making them extra vibrant and flavoursome. It's a handsome machine, which is fortunate as it's large so will probably work best being left out on a countertop. Read our full review of Sage The Bluicer Pro.
VonShef UltraBlend smoothie maker
- Available from VonShef (£54.99)
Best value smoothie-maker
- Simple and effective design
- Quite quiet
- Powerful blending
- Some may prefer a blender with more features
Star rating: 4.5/5
VonShef often impress with their affordable appliances and kitchen gadgets – their smoothie-maker is no different. It also happens to look very smart around the kitchen. The functionality is straightforward, intuitive and powerful, producing impressive results, even working through tougher ingredients like fibrous ginger. Another characteristic that's appealing is how easy it is to clean. Read our full VonShef UltraBlend smoothie-maker review.
What to look for in a smoothie maker
When researching which smoothie maker to buy, bear in mind the frequency with which you’ll make smoothies. If it’ll be a daily thing, choose a machine that can be left out on your surface. So you will need to take into account how much space it will take up – and also whether you like the look of it.
Also ask yourself whether you will be requiring it to do other jobs too, such as blend sauces and crush ice.
Some smoothie makers have preset functions including juicing, blending and ice crushing, while others just have one setting – go! Some are more powerful than others but be warned, we did find that with more power came greater noise. This means you also need to think about when you will be using it. If you’re keen to make a smoothie for breakfast while other members of the household are asleep, you may want a less powerful one with a quieter motor.
Those who like their smoothies really smooth are more likely to require an expensive machine with a powerful motor, while those who don’t mind taking a bit of rough with the smoothie may be just as well served with a budget offering.
Some of our blenders came with extras such as a sports bottle, which can be useful if you are planning to make more than one type at once. Fruit pulp can be a killer to wash up, so if you have a dishwasher it’s worth buying a blender with cups that are suitable.
Fervent fans would be wise to consider investing in something over £100 that comes with a warranty, as regular use does put the blades and motor through considerable strain, especially if using things like beetroot or veg with hard stalks.
How we tested smoothie makers
We reviewed a representative sample of smoothie-makers and scored them against the following criteria.
The Good Food lump test: we put several tough ingredients (half an apple, a banana, 20g ginger, 25g kale, 3 ice cubes, a tablespoon of oats and 2 pieces of frozen fruit, plus 400ml of water) in each blender for 1 minute. We then attempted to suck the smoothie through a straw. Anything that got stuck was marked down – the optimum result was a silky smooth mix with ease of flow.
Ease of use: lots of people will move bullet blenders in and out of cupboards – we wanted machines that were intuitive and easy to set up.
Noise: we love smoothies in the morning, but our neighbours don’t tend to like being woken up by industrial-grade mechanical noise. While all smoothie bullets make some noise, machines that spluttered, made notably loud sounds or noises similar to a clapped out car were judged unfavourably.
Extra features: machines with different cup options, additional blades and smart blending functions were marked up.
Cup quality: say no to leaky cups! We gave carry cups a vigorous shake to ensure no liquid would escape and ruin the inside of your bag.
Packaging: we marked down products that came in excessive non-recyclable packaging.
Instruction manual: a good manual can really amplify your experience of smoothie-making since they often include smoothie recipes and tips.
Ease of storage: if you have minimal counter space, a smoothie-maker that can be easily packed away is an essential.
Extra features: we tested all additional features on products, including juicing functions.
Ease of cleaning: smoothies are traditionally tricky to clean up. We tested how well cups and jugs washed and considered whether they were dishwasher-friendly.
Kitchen footprint and overall aesthetic: some of us choose to have juicers and blenders on display – we looked for appliances that don't take up too much counter space and that we'd be proud to have out in our kitchens.
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